Spinner Narine inspires KKR win in IPL


A counter-attacking 35 from embattled West Indies left-hander Shimron Hetmyer 35 failed to ignite Rajasthan Royals, and they were bundled out for the third-lowest total in the Indian Premier League (IPL) yesterday when Royal Challengers Bangalore crushed them by 112 runs.

Later, West Indies discards, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell might have temporarily eased calls for them to be dropped when they were a part of a Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) side that bounced back and beat Chennai Super Kings by six wickets and bagged two important points.

Hetmyer slammed one four and four sixes – three in a row off Karn Sharma – from 19 balls, but the Royals batting imploded, and they were bowled out for 59 in 10.3 overs, replying to RCB’s 171 for five at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.

Royals were shocked early when prolific opener Yashasvi Jaiswal drove the second ball of the chase – from India international pacer Mohammed Siraj – and was caught at mid-off for a duck.

Fellow opener and England Twenty20 International captain Jos Buttler was caught at point off South African left-arm pacer Wayne Parnell for a second-ball duck next over, and two balls later, Royals captain Sanju Samson was caught by wicketkeeper Anuj Rawat off the same bowler for four from a miscued hook.

Royals were wobbling on seven for three in the second over, and stumbled further to 28 for five at the close of the Power Play, after Devdutt Padikkal was caught at mid-wicket off New Zealand off-spinner Michael Bracewell for four, and Parnell trapped England batsman Joe Root for 10.

Royals slumped further when Dhruv Jurel was caught at deep mid-wicket off Bracewell for one in the seventh over, but Hetmyer responded to the challenge with his succession of sixes off Sharma to get them to 50.

India international Ravichandran Ashwin was run out for a duck without facing ball after a mix-up with Hetmyer.

The 26-year-old Guyanese was caught inside the long-on boundary off the penultimate ball of the 10th over, bowled by Australia international Glenn Maxwell, and was the first of three wickets that fell without addition to the total in the span of four balls to bring the innings to a close.

Parnell was the pick of the RCB bowlers with a flattering three for 10 from three overs, and Bracewell and Sharma got two wickets apiece.

Earlier, a composed 55 off 44 balls from RCB captain Faf du Plessis, his seventh half-century of this year’s tournament, along with crucial attacking innings of 54 off 33 balls from Maxwell and 29 not out from Rawat under pressure propped up the visitors batting.

In the second match of the day, Narine ended with two for 15 from his allotted four overs in his best spell of this year’s tournament and led tidy KKR bowling that restricted Chennai Super Kings to 144 for six.

Russell did not bowl, but he was not out on two, and he was at the wicket when KKR reached their target with nine balls remaining.

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